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Two Diva's Bookish Discussion - What makes a good...?

By 3:30 pm

Hi we're Francoise and Sunny and we have known each other since our nappy days. We're constantly having rants and raves about the latest books and bookish news.This is a fortnightly discussion that you can find on both of our blogs, so please make sure to stop by both blogs as our written content is different, although on the same topic. Our posts are not intended to offend anyone or anything but this is just our opinions and we would love it if you would share your thoughts in the comments below. This is a new feature we decided to add and the purpose is not only for you to get to know more about us but for you to be able to join in and have fun.

Before I get into my post, I just wanted to say, jeeez 2 weeks goes fast! It was only 2 weeks ago I posted my last discussion with Sunny. So today's discussion is continueing on with the What makes a good...? theme but today's topics are different. What makes a good...?:


World building - The world building in a dystopia novel must be really good. That's basically the basis of any dystopia. If it's weakly set up (and this goes with a lot of books) then it just doesn't work well. It leaves a  lot of questions that aren't answered and it's just a plain 'don't do' so I think it has to be well structured and well thought out.

Original - This goes with the world building idea. It has to be original, something we haven't seen before. Most dystopia novels are usually different to each other but sometimes we get the same sort of things over and over again.

Controlling society - I know this is sort of contradicting my last statement but I really like it when it has a controlling society. For example: Hunger Games and ACID. Even though it's been done before it can still be done uniquely. I like it when the world has to be fixed by either creating a new way of living or destroying a corrupt government. 

Action - This isn't necessarily true but I think a good kick-ass dystopia has to have action. It just makes it all the more exciting and I just love reading about how they figure out hard situations.  

Character development - This goes with every well-written novel but I think especially in a dystopian novel, a lot character development is needed because so much is happening and relationships are put to the test.

Romance - I really don't like it when romance completely takes over the plot! A heavy romance can only work well with certain story-lines but I just hate it when the main character is just so absorbed in there relationship when the world needs fixing and just everything is turning to shit. 

Couples working together - I don't know about you but I just love it when couples work together. It's just so cute and it usually strengthens there relationship.

Relationship should be impacted - If there is romance in it, I think the relationship should be impacted even if it's a little bit. If you read my discussion on a good romance, you'll know that I think there has to be some disagreement. Even if it's not romance, friendship can go through some difficulties. 

Death - If it's a hardcore dystopia full of action and there's a war going on, there has to be at least one death of somebody who is close to the main character. I just find it a little unrealistic if everything turns out okay and everybody doesn't get hurt. There has to be at least an injury. 

Not predictable - This is obvious and I'm sure you all agree. Any good novel including dystopia has to be unpredictable. It doesn't matter what genre but it's just that one moment leaving you gasping for breath and you don't let any human contact disturb you from your reading that makes a good book. 

So these are my points that I think make a good dystopia novel. You may not agree but I would love to know what you think in the comments below!


Not too complicated – Sometimes I find with fantasy or science fiction things can get a bit too complicated. I think when a book is well written things are explained well and it means the readers aren't left confused. 

World-building – If the world building is nicely structured it means it's not complicated. Also I think fantasy novels have to be fairly descriptive so that it's easy to imagine and you can picture it easily. 

Type of plot - When I think of a fantasy I immediately think of fairies and unicorns so I don't think it's meant to be too serious but sometimes I think a fantasy can be really dark and that can make it really interesting and unique so I think it really depends on the authors choice. 
Characters that always lighten the mood - I love that character that is always so cheery and nothing every seems to get him/her down. I also love that funny one that is sort of like a jester in the group and they somehow manage to cheer up the mood. 

Originality - I haven't read many fantasy books but I think there needs to be more variety with plots. Correct me if I'm wrong as I am not a huge fan of this genre.

Balance - There needs to be an appropriate balance of good and evil

Royalty - Even though this is quite common, I just love the whole thing of royalty in a fantasy. This has been done a hundred times but I just love the princessy sort of books. 

These points are more what Sunny and I are looking for in a good novel:
I find in a lot of books that this plot happens a lot (even in other genres):
An ordinary girl who is usually in the background has her life changed by some boy from an unknown world. We want a story where the world is already known to a protagonist. If you know of one please recommend it to me in the comments, I would love this because it would be different to what I'm used to. If the world is unknown to the main character, I would love it if it was a girl who introduces it to her/him instead of the usual guy who is mysterious if you know what I mean.

So here is our discussion for today! I hope you enjoyed our opinions on what makes a good dystopia and fantasy. Of course you may not agree or maybe you have some other points that we may have left out. Remember to go check out Sunny's discussion as well as ours are completely different but on the same topic. As always, thank you for reading!


  1. Awesome post as per usual Diva F. Glad we finally posted all of the 'What makes a good..? but sad to see it go as it was such fun to come up with. Who knows, maybe next visit we'll come up with another 3.

  2. Great post Francoise, I agree, I hate it when the romance takes over the plot when you didn't expect it. Definitely a friendship or relationship should be impacted when something big goes down. I love royalty in books too, that's why I loved Vampire Academy :)

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence